Sales incentives that work

Sales incentives that work (that aren’t cash)

It’s no secret that cash is king, especially when trying to motivate sales reps to close more business or SDRs to set more meetings. But after a while, cash loses its excitement and sales reps can get bored. In my experience, it’s good to switch it up every once in awhile, so here are some of the non-cash incentives that have worked for me in the past.

Lunch with execs

For an up and coming sales rep (especially one with management potential), face time with an exec can progress their career AND increase alignment. This also helps the VP of Sales or CEO get a better understanding of what’s going on at the ground level. When I was early in my career in sales at a Fortune 500 company, I was selected to sit at a table with the CEO during our annual sales kick-off and it’s left an impression on me to this day.

Conference tickets

There are some amazing sales conferences like TOPO Summit, AA-ISP, and Tenbound. Getting to travel for a conference, network with amazing sales leaders and learn new best practices is another win-win for your rep and the company. Send your top 3 reps to a conference and give them a budget for a couple of nice dinners, book a nice hotel for them, or fly them out, first class. When they get back, have them present their learnings to the team.

Days off

In a high-stress environment like sales, oftentimes salespeople forget to take time off or they have limited PTO. Offering a long weekend, a random day off, or even a half-day can go a long way. About once per month, I’d tell my SDRs that if they set three meetings by noon on Friday they could leave early. Oftentimes that was the most productive day of the week! Just make sure it’s not announced beforehand or you risk sandbagging.

Gift cards

This one is kind of cheating because (at least for me and a lot of other millennials) Amazon gift cards are as good as cash. I’d recommend giving gift cards for a place that the reps might not normally splurge on for themselves like a fancy restaurant or a local luxury hotel.

Concert tickets

Being in Austin, we have a lot of concert options… but trying to buy tickets that would appeal to everyone isn’t an easy task (unless Beyonce happens to be coming to your town). I once ran a monthlong competition for VIP tickets to the big music festival in Austin (Austin City Limits), and because there were dozens of musicians there was something for everyone. It turned out to be one of my most popular contests.

Quota relief

This one is controversial because it can hurt your overall sales, but during a couple of slow months I told my reps that for every 2 dollars they sold over their quota, their quota was reduced by that month the following month. We turned what could have been a slow month into a great month. Here’s the best part, because they were trying so hard to build pipeline, they ended up overperforming the following month too!

I always love hearing exciting new competitions and sales incentives, so if you have any that I should use in the future, shoot me an email at graham@quotapath.com

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